I have had a blessed life. When I was 18, I encountered the love and mercy of God in the confessional in such a profound way that I completely gave my life to Jesus. Through His grace, I have had the opportunity to share my faith thousands of time in big ways and small ways.
This I know: Anyone can be an effective evangelist. It does not take years of training or experience. It simply takes the right heart. While this list is in no way definitive or exhaustive, I believe these things to be essential. To be a good evangelist you need three things:
1. A heart that loves Jesus more than anything. Our hearts were made to be in love with Jesus and be transformed by that relationship. When we are in love with Jesus, we become a beacon of grace.
2. A heart that is open to the misery of another. The Latin word for mercy, “misericordia”, literally means to have a heart that is open to the misery of others. If we truly want to reach people with the gospel we have to be open to every part of who they are, including their suffering. We need to remember that most people won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
3. A heart that is surrendered to the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost gave birth to evangelization. It animated it. It gave it life. The Acts of the Apostles is full of stories of the Holy Spirit bestowing spiritual gifts upon men and women for evangelization. NOTHING has changed in 2,000 years. We need the Holy Spirit and not much more.
We are called to do great things for Jesus. We cannot do this without experiencing a personal Pentecost We need to pray that we decrease and Christ increases so people see Him through us – and this is God’s spiritual work. Our effort alone will not make us dynamic witnesses for Christ. We need His Spirit in us so we can bring sight to the spiritually blind and healing to the spiritually dead and lame.
So what should we do?
Pray. Let your heart be touched by Christ’s love everyday. Let yourself fall more in love with Jesus. We cannot share His love if we are not living in it.
Ask God to give you a heart for the souls of others – including their misery.
Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with His love and gifts (See Corinthians 12 & 13) and open doors for you to share the Gospel.
If your heart is set on these things, then you will more disposed to be used in the work of evangelization. God is faithful and true and all He needs is your yes to change the world. May God bless you abundantly.
John will be the featured speaker at Pittsburgh NOW on April 22, 2016. Pittsburgh NOW is an exciting evening of faith featuring dynamic worship, Eucharistic Adoration, and a time for fellowship.
John Beaulieu has spent the past 32 years involved in ministry in the Church, including 2 years as a NET missionary and 15 years as a youth minister. He has spent the past 13 years working in the Christian Outreach Office at Franciscan University. He has spoken at national and international conferences about the power of the Holy Spirit and the work of evangelization.